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Communication and Information Sector's news service

Director-General deplores death of Iraqi photographer and his driver

17-07-2007 (Paris)
Director-General deplores death of Iraqi photographer and his driver
Stop killing journalists
© Derstandard
These brave professionals have added their names to the long list of journalists killed in Iraq.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today deplored the death of Reuters photographer Namir Nour-Eldine and his driver Said Chmagh, killed in the east of Baghdad on 12 July.

"I deplore the death of Namir Nour-Eldine and Said Chmagh," declared the Director-General, adding: "These brave professionals have added their names to the all too long list of journalists and media workers killed in the exercise of their profession in Iraq. No other conflict has levied such a heavy toll on the press as the one in Iraq. It is imperative that all authorities concerned take measures to reinforce the safety of media professionals so as to halt this bloodletting and protect the basic human right of freedom of expression."

The two Reuters employees were killed in fighting between American forces and insurgents. The circumstances of their deaths remain unclear. Iraqi police reported an explosion in the sector but did not say whether it was caused by an American air-strike or by a mortar attack.

Namir Nour-Eldine, 22, worked as a photographer. Forty-year old Said Chmagh, the driver, was the father of four.

Since March 2003, the Reuters news agency lost six employees in Iraq. According to Reporters without Borders, a total of 191 journalists and their collaborators have been killed in Iraq since the start of the conflict in 2003.

UNESCO is the only United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this purpose the Organization is required to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”
Related themes/countries

      · Freedom of Expression: News Archives 2007
      · Iraq: News Archives 2007
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